• Joe Lombardi

How Construction Firms Can Protect Themselves from a Second Wave of COVID-19

It is no secret that COVID-19 had done irreplaceable damage to the economy and certain industries of the United States. Local businesses have been forced to shut down, safety precautions and protocol have been changed forever, and many more tweaks have been made to our every day lives. One of the scariest parts about COVID-19 is that it has been assumed that the second wave will hit even harder than the first. What does this mean for the economy and industries?

It is important to take a look at the construction industry. The industry was shocked when projects in all 50 states were put on hold. Many lost jobs and money throughout these difficult times. One of the most difficult parts about COVID-19 was that the majority of construction firms had no prevention tactics, as the pandemic swept the globe quickly. Now, having been through several months of the pandemic, there are plenty of ideas to benefit construction firms and workers to ensure that they stay safe.

Safety Protocols

Since workers have returned to their sites, they have seen the safety protocols change drastically. Staggering time slots so that there is not an influx of workers all at once has been a common adaption, and it has proven to work well. Another interesting way that construction firms have adapted is that they have implemented one way staircases or pathways around the site, that way people aren't walking next to each other or near each other. This won't be all for the future, though. Mike DiNapoli, general manager of Suffolk’s Northern California operations, said, “Our safety protocols, training and checklists will continue to evolve in response to new developments."

Legal Protections

Many workers will need to sign subcontracts that state they must follow the new COVID-19 protocol in order to fully protect themselves and others. They must adhere to all of the safety guidelines or else their contract will not hold up. It is expected that customers will also need to sign these subcontracts as well. There will also be much discrepancy between higher personnel and contractors in case they are looking for relief from a project or certain obligations, so it is crucial that legal protections be put into place for the future so everything is certain and clear.

Financial Preparations

Making sure workers are healthy may take some money out of some construction firms wallets. Having such in depth testing and technology will cost them a lot of money, but in the end it will be worth it. The new norm is to stay at home when you feel sick, not push yourself through. With that being said, budget forecasting is going to be more important than ever, as companies are going to need to account for the missed time for workers, which then bleeds into contracts, sick days, etc. The best thing to do in this case is to have a well thought out contingency plan so that everyone from the CEO to the first-day worker knows what will happen during a potential second wave.

New Technology

As previously mentioned, there will be many new implementations of technology at job sites. This will cost a good amount of money but it will benefit the workers at the job site. In previous blogs, we have written about the "Kenzen" arm band and the LCPtracker. These two pieces of technology will be able to ensure workers that there will be no cutting corners when it comes to this illness (and other more common illnesses). There have been incredible technological advancements over the last few years, especially when thinking about construction. Now, as times change even more, it is apparent that technology is needed more than ever.

Overall, there are plenty of ways that construction sites will be able to protect themselves from a second wave of COVID-19. Though there are no guarantees, follow safety protocols and preparing well ahead in the future will be the best best for thriving during a potential second wave.

For Educational Purposes Only – Not to be relied upon as financial, tax, or legal advice. The views expressed are those of the author/presenter and all data is derived from sources believed to be reliable.

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